Speechmakers have a point

Richard Bridger with winner Matthew Mair and the Speechmakers' Shield, along with other finalists and by chair of the judges, Ella Egan.
Richard Bridger with winner Matthew Mair and the Speechmakers' Shield, along with other finalists and by chair of the judges, Ella Egan.

Four young speakers contested the final of Banchory Rotary’s Young Speechmaker competition, held at the town’s Burnett Arms Hotel on Wednesday, June 7.

Jamie Holroyde and Alex Grant, from Banchory Primary School, were joined in competition for the Speechmakers’ Shield by Matthew Mair, from Hill of Banchory School, and Finn Dearsley, from Drumoak Primary School.

Contestants presented a five-minute speech on their own choice of topic using visual aids and props.

They fielded questions on their subject from the audience of more than 70 Rotarians and guests, who learned about subjects as diverse as The Conspiracy Theory of the First Man on The Moon, the History and Delights of Rowntrees’ Sweets, and the equally enticing Delights of Cheese.

The winner was Matthew Mair who talked about the Art of Illustration, in particular of the Harry Potter book series, which are being issued with full colour illustrations, and the first of which pre-dated and influenced the films.

Wednesday’s event was the final of a competition which started in Primary 7 classes in most of the Banchory area schools.

It progressed though a semi-final where we learned about Reptiles (with one present), Natural Disasters, Mountain Biking - even David Beckham - plus several other interesting topics.

While the judges were marking their way through the 16 criteria, entertainment was provided by three impressive violinists and a large choir from Banchory Primary School, whose harmonies were superb.

Club president Richard Bridger presented the Young Speechmaker Shield to Matthew and individual prizes to all four competitors. He said: “Banchory Rotary would like to thank all the schools and pupils who contributed so much to this annual competition, and in particular also to the evening’s young musicians and choristers.

“Congratulations to all who participated at the various stages of the contest, and we hope they enjoyed the experience and doing the research into their own topic.”

The Young Speechmaker competition is among many initiatives and activities that Banchory Rotarians are involved in locally, nationally and internationally.

The club raises money through these activities and makes significant charitable donations. It also gets involved ‘hands-on’ and offers support to other organisations.